Faith is the beautiful daughter of Bob and Sharon Suiter, wife to James, and mother of five children, ages sixteen to seven years old. Recently they moved from Redlands and now live in Glorieta, New Mexico.
This story began nine years ago when Faith was diagnosed with stage four thyroid cancer. Concerns for her and the unborn son she was carrying were beyond anything they ever expected to encounter. Faith and James already had three small children, so this was a very trying time.
She was treated at City of Hope, Duarte, CA, and had major surgery with wonderful results. The surgeon said they got all the cancer and the baby came through it just fine. Four months later, they rejoiced at the birth of a healthy baby. “Thank you, Lord, for bringing us through that!” was their praise. Two years later, baby number five arrived.
Fast forward to October 2015. Routine blood-work on Faith showed cancer markers were up. Scan and biopsy confirmed the cancer was back, and showed a tumor between the jugular vein and carotid artery. She was referred to the New Mexico cancer center, but they said it was beyond their expertise and wanted her to see a Dr. Anderson in Houston, Texas.
“Houston, we have a problem!” That was a long way for the family to go.
By this time, prayers were going up for Faith and her family, for Sharon had written the prayer request for her daughter on the Comment Card Sunday morning at Trinity Church. “We knew God was in control, but the fears, doubts, and what’s ahead, were all questions that ran rampant,” Sharon explained.
On December 26, 2015, Faith and James’ family of seven piled everyone into a van, and with thunderstorms lurking, left New Mexico and headed for Houston. Through two days of storms, they made it safely to an apartment that had been provided for them while they were there, which was a huge answer to prayer.
Faith shared with her parents, “The first night, everyone was on edge from the stress and the trip, so James gathered our family together, and the kids hopped up onto dad and mom’s bed to talk and pray. We answered tough questions, like, ‘what if Mama dies?’ and calmed all sorts of fears by letting the kids talk. James, yet again, made me proud to be his wife as he took all our fears and questions to Jesus. James told the kids, ‘through Mama being sick, we have to wait and see how God is working. Someday, we will look back and see God’s faithfulness to us. Although we can’t always understand, God knows.’”
Sharon flew from Southern California on Tuesday December 29, 2015, to stay with the kids so that Faith and James could go to the doctor’s appointments. The next few days were filled with tests, scans, MRI, biopsies, and blood-work. Surgery was scheduled for Thursday, January 7. The surgeon asked for another MRI and more blood-work on Monday night, January 4. Tuesday and Wednesday were waiting days, and on Wednesday, January 6, the doctor said, “after reviewing Faith’s scan and labs for surgery I could not find any cancer. No cancer. It is not there!”
It took a little time for what the doctor said to register, but they were beyond grateful for God’s healing touch. A friend told Sharon that Faith is a new creation. They agreed.
On one of the waiting days, they visited Houston space center, then later watched Apollo 13 movie back at the apartment. When the capsule lost power, their nine-year-old son asked, “Why don’t they just pray?” Sounds like he has grasped the concept.
Sharon ended with, “Houston, we had a problem and God took care of it. Now, Houston, we have a praise!”
By Sandra Schoger Foster